World-class expertise
Creating solutions and meeting economic demand.

Our four primary research strands are solution driven and support State and national research and economic priorities. They bring together the University’s world-class strengths to focus on critical industry sectors.


Compiled below are just some of the world-class projects currently being undertaken by one of UniSA's flagship research Institutes.


Biomaterials Engineering and Nanomedicine

This strand supports the development of precision medicine by leveraging long standing expertise in nanomedicine. Our chemists, materials scientists and biomedical scientists work directly with clinicians and the biotechnology and medical technology industries. In partnership we discover exciting new ways to diagnose, manage and treat debilitating diseases such as cancers, autoimmune diseases and chronic wounds. We further develop novel biomaterials to support cell therapy.

Research capabilities:

  • Fabrication of nanostructured materials
  • Thin film coatings
  • Surface analysis
  • In vitro and in vivo testing of materials
  • Design, fabrication and testing of microfluidic devices
  • Optical and electrochemical biosensors
  • Responsive and targeted drug delivery vehicles
  • Biomaterials and tissue engineering


Energy and Advanced Manufacturing

Fundamental, applied and translational research provides intelligent solutions and dynamic new approaches for tomorrow’s manufacturing industries. Scientists and engineers who specialise in polymer chemistry, materials science and surface engineering technologies work closely with industry partners to develop new products and innovative ideas in sectors such as automotive, defence, health care and renewable energy. One of our partnerships with industry has seen us take a key role in the design and development of the next generation of sun tracking heliostats suitable for both concentrated solar thermal and concentrated photo-voltaic energy generation.

Research capabilities:

  • The design and deposition of multi-layer thin film coating systems
  • Developing environmentally robust coating systems for real world applications
  • Process development and scale up
  • Energy capture, storage and conversion
  • Design and fabrication of advanced nanomaterials and nanocomposites
  • Conducting polymer synthesis and device fabrication
  • Materials science and catalysis

Environmental Science and Engineering

Environmental sustainability is a global imperative, a driver of change and a key to modern business success. Our researchers draw on expertise in biogeochemical processes to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing agriculture and the environment. Our focus is on food security, remediation of contaminated sites, the control of antibiotic resistant microorganisms, risk assessment of emerging technologies and environmental policy support.

Research capabilities:

  • Environmental and human exposure assessment
  • Characterisation and remediation of contaminated sites
  • Food security, plant nutrition and soil fertility
  • Risk assessment of emerging contaminants
  • Environmental microbial ecology, metagenomics and antibiotic resistance
  • Waste characterisation and valorisation

Minerals and Resources Engineering

This strand delivers both high-quality basic science and outcome-driven research and development to a resources sector challenged by decreasing deposit quality and reduced deposit discovery. Working with industry, we strive to improve rates of discovery, optimise process performance, reduce energy and water usage and assist in the assessment and introduction of technological innovations across the resources value chain. Expertise in minerals processing, geological materials characterisation, exploration science and technology is supported by strengths in physical chemistry, physics and extractive metallurgical engineering.

Research capabilities:

  • Froth flotation/physical separation/hydrometallurgy
  • Fundamentals of mineral surface and interfacial chemistry
  • Mini pilot scale process assessment, site work/surveys
  • Surface analytical characterisation of real plant slurries and applications of synchrotron science
  • Agglomeration/granulation/pelletisation
  • Flocculation, sedimentation, rheology dewatering and process water quality/effects
  • In-line sensor research and micro-fabrication of devices
  • New technology assessment, materials science applications
  • Geological materials characterisation for life-of-resource planning
  • Explorartion geoscience
  • Sensor and system development for in-field geochemistry and mineralogy
  • Drilling engineering


Learn more about our real world research.

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